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July 31, 2019 8:48 pm  #1

A Question About Corus’ Radio Automation

I spent the early years of my career in radio, before switching to the less than hallowed halls of TV. So I wasn’t really around when automation became commonplace in the medium.
I have a question about how it works – and why in one case, it absolutely doesn’t. Sometimes at night, when I take the dog for his final walk of the evening, I listen to Charles Adler out of CKNW over GNR640 Toronto.
When they head to a break, you can hear the cue tone that starts a series of local spots and it usually works flawlessly. But there’s one time in the hour when it doesn’t. And it hasn’t since the show started. Not once.
It’s the hard break at around :25 or :26 after the hour. In all the time I’ve been listening, and it’s been most every night, the host is ALWAYS cut off in mid-sentence during this spot break. It happens every night and you will absolutely hear it if you tune in at that time.

The question: what causes this audio and audible error at the same time every night? Is it because the station is still on delay and the hard break means it doesn’t wait for the end of a sentence? If not, why can’t they seem to fix this? It sounds terribly unprofessional when the guy gets dumped before he's finished talki---


August 1, 2019 10:34 am  #2

Re: A Question About Corus’ Radio Automation

I've worked with automation for some time with networks...   I have a feeling someone has a HARD out play time (likely on the 640 end) instead of a floating break, where it would wait for a cue from the network trigger.  It also tells me no one from 640 is listening to ensure things are working correctly (or cares).   

The other issue could be a setting at the network end, that has the trigger going out at a hard, set time instead of the op hitting it.   Either way, it's not ideal and does sound sloppy.     

There is ways to remain on time, without a heavy handed trigger.     If on the network end, the clock in the studio needs to be synced with the hard out time.    The host needs to be done speaking before that hard out.     If it's on the local station end, they should be not using a hard play time, and letting the break float a little, OR under schedule it slightly, with a bumper at the end to give some flexibility.     All and all, network radio isn't hard to do, you just have to look at the clock more, and think about how it will sound on the air down the line. 

Last edited by radiokid (August 1, 2019 10:36 am)


August 1, 2019 1:21 pm  #3

Re: A Question About Corus’ Radio Automation

Corus uses iMediatouch, not the best out there.  That said, radiokid is correct, watch the clock, eliminate the hard synchs during network time where possible.  That said, not sure how the programming is distributed?  Sat perhaps?  If so, tones are being sent to trigger local breaks, top hour news etc.  All in the clocks... 


August 1, 2019 2:41 pm  #4

Re: A Question About Corus’ Radio Automation

And it works great - until you get to that specific break. Then it's always cut off. I don't think I've heard a single time when it's worked properly.

I wonder if anyone at Corus is even aware of this. Hopefully, they are now!

     Thread Starter